Proposed Bridleway Bridges between Codnor Park, Ironville and Jacksdale

Public meetings were held in Jacksdale and Ironville in September 2015 to canvass local opinion on the bridge designs that have been produced by a working group of local councils and organisations. To date, 169 respondents completed a questionnaire and 98% of respondents supported the principle of a bridge scheme, with associated routes. Draft designs of both the bridges and connecting trails were also well received, although concerns regarding costs, and also motorbikes accessing the trails were expressed.  Additionally there have been 284 responses to the recent online questionnaire on the Derbyshire County Council web site with 99% in favour.

Spurred on by local support, the working group has turned its attention to fundraising.  These are certainly economically challenging times, with a Central Government funding gap for walking/cycling/horseriding infrastructure projects. However, some interest has been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Although the cost of the new bridges cannot be covered, the HLF recognise the heritage value of the bridge site and the considerable local support. A preliminary bid to the ‘Our Heritage Fund’ is a possibility, which will involve the local community in investigating the remains of previous bridges on the site which will inform the detailed bridge design, provide essential information for a planning application and build the reputation of the Project. Simultaneously, Derbyshire County Council will continue to work with local landowners to acquire public rights to secure the route between the two villages, and progress design work.

For an article (March2016) on the project giving further information click Here.

For most recent update (October 2018) Please click HERE.

Below is short recap of the Lawn Bridge Project to date:

Linking Communities - The Lawn Bridge Project

In 2012 residents in Jacksdale and Codnor Park, Ironville joined forces to start a petition calling for the much-needed link across the Cromford Canal, known locally as the “old iron bridge”.  The two communities have been isolated from each other since September 1997, when a previous bridge built in 1943 by the Butterley Company was demolished.   

JACHS (Jacksdale Area Culture & Heritage) have unearthed many previously unknown pieces of historical information regarding the development of early railways in the area through their Portland Path Project. It was felt that the time is now right to recognise the importance and significance of re-instating this bridge from a historical sense, as well as the social, economic and vital community link it would provide.

The link will provide benefits for Codnor Park, Ironville in terms of accessing essential services such as Chemists, Doctor’s, Dentist’s and other important services. Many Codnor Park, Ironville residents will also have easy access to the Bus routes via Jacksdale.  At the same time the residents from Jacksdale will again have access to the wonderful walks and open spaces of Codnor Park including the medieval Codnor Castle.  The bridge would be good for the environment as countless car journeys would be avoided.

The idea behind the project is not only to provide an appropriate bridge or bridges but to develop a complete Greenway Route on both sides of the canal to meet the needs of everyone whether on foot, in invalid carriages, on bicycles or on horseback.

More than 1,100 people locally signed a petition calling for a bridge to be built. The petition was presented to Derbyshire County Council via Cllr Paul Smith during July 2012.  As a result a working party was duly formed to move the project forward. Cllr Smith is Chair of the working party.   The working party had its first meeting in July 2013 and has now had seven successful meetings.  The working party is made up of Local Councillors and Officers from both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, also represented are Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts, Friends of Cromford Canal and local residents.

At the meeting on 6th March 2014, Derbyshire County Councillor Paul Smith informed the meeting that £50,000 design money would be made available to “kick start” the project, a further £100,000 should be coming into the project in the next month. 

On the Nottinghamshire side of the canal Ashfield District Council will also be make a contribution towards the project.

Engineers have now made numerous site visits and have produced plans for the project. In addition greenway routes have been planned for on each side of the canal.    A Heritage Scoping Study has also been completed.  It is planned to have public consultations in September, for the communities on each side of the canal.  These consultations will discuss all aspects of the project and all the options that are available.  After that planning consent will be sort from Derbyshire County Council before bidding for funding.

Public Consultations will take place on Saturday 19th September 2015: Ironville event: 10:00am to 12 noon in Ironville church Hall and Jacksdale Community Centre event 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

The plan now is to have two bridges rather than one (see simplified diagram below), to continue the approach in an almost straight line off the bridge, and provide a second bridge across the River Erewash to join up with the old tramway embankment.  This will create much more direct route into Jacksdale and vice versa.  However, the principal reason for having two bridges is that with the one bridge option land levels would have to be considerably changed, adding significantly to the cost. To the right below is a map to show the part of the planned greenway route around the bridge.

Bridge Project Outline       Proposed Routes Around the Bridge

Here are the latest bridge Plans (Early 2015):


To see the above plans in more detail, please click HERE


Displayed below is all the information that appeared on this web page prior to April 2015.


The planners allowed a large development and expansion to take place in Codnor Park, without putting in the necessary infrastructure.

Issue 1 - Non existent local Bus Service 

The village is without a bus service within reasonable walking distance. There have been many new homes built in recent years, especially lots of bungalows, now occupied mainly by older people. There is now quite an enlarged community which should have a bus service, so that local residents who are reliant on bus transport are not cut off from work, shops, doctors, hospitals etc. There is a suitable Bus Stop at Cinder Bank, but this is only used by school buses, (Double Deckers).  When Bullock Lane was closed for repairs to the railway bridge, buses came down the Coach Road and some stopped at the Cinder Bank Bus Stop, so such a service is surely quite feasible.

A possible solution could be community transport which operates smaller vehicles suitable for estate roads.  Perhaps something could be arranged via Amber Valley Community Transport.  

A public meeting was held in Ironville Church Hall on Wednesday 29th August to discuss Community Transport in relation to Ironville & Codnor Park. It was felt essential that the village should be informed of the services available as many local people could benefit significantly.

Community Transport schemes in Derbyshire provide door-to-door transport for both individuals who have problems accessing public transport, either because of impaired mobility or lack of services in rural areas and for groups involved in community activities.

The vehicles range from small people-carriers to larger buses and they are all wheelchair-accessible and have steps for those people with limited mobility- There is always a trained driver to give assistance when needed. Here are some typical Community Transport services:


·         A home to town service providing an opportunity for people to do their shopping either in town or at a supermarket. Passenger assistants may be available.

·         A pre-bookable, regular service for people with mobility problems or lack of public transport in their village.

·         Gold Cards can be used, otherwise fares are at a similar rate to the fares paid on mainstream bus services.

Group Travel

·         Available to groups involved in community activities, such as Church, Scouts, Girl Guides, Women's Institutes and lunch groups, for local joumeys and days out. Also available for statutory organisations such as schools and NHS health centres and hospitals.

·         Pre-bookable at an affordable rate.

ACTIVE travel

Subsidised by Derbyshire County Council and NHS Derbyshire County


·         Wheelchair-accessible vehicle for people with mobility problems needing a more personal transport service to get to appointments, hospital visits, etc.

·         Pre-bookable and affordable rates.

Community Car Scheme

·         Volunteers use their own cars to provide essential joumeys and are paid for their mileage.

·         Currently operated by Chesterfield & District, Amber Valley and Bakewell & Eyam Community Transport Schemes.

For Further details telephone Community Transport for Town & Country: 01773 746652

Dial-A-Bus Service Area 6B to Alfreton

Operating weekly from Codnor Park / Ironville / Golden Valley / Newland / Riddings/ Pinxton

This is a WEEKLY Friday service to Alfreton or Tesco Supermarket

In for 11.00 a.m. – 1.00p.m.

Transport available for anyone unable to use public transport through isolation*, age or disability.  (i.e. where there is no local bus service).

£2 return fare for Gold Card users.

Please telephone 01773 746652 to book a seat.

Dial-A-Bus Service Mansfied Y

Operating every third week from Codnor Park / Ironville / Golden Valley / Newland / Riddings/ Pinxton /Somercotes

Transport available for anyone unable to use public transport through isolation*, age or disability.  (i.e. where there is no local bus service).

£2 return fare for Gold Card users.

Please telephone 01773 746652 to book a seat.

So far the two key responses to our petition are:

Anthony Crompton (Senior Project Officer Local Bus Network, Derbys. County Council) said:

“Unfortunately the roads in and around Codnor Park are not suitable for the provision of a scheduled local bus service. A more appropriate solution would therefore be through community transport which operates smaller vehicles suitable for estate roads.” 

Elaine Wachlarz (Senior Transport Officer (Community), Derbys County Council) said:

“Personally I would suggest we advertise the existing services (Community Transport) and if there proves to be a huge demand in the Codnor Park & Ironville area I will work with Amber Valley CT to look at providing more.”

Two articles in the "Derby Telegraph" dated December 26th 2012 state our case for a local bus service really well.                                   Click on the links below to view the articles:

A very good editorial in the link above, illustrating very good journalism!

The local bus service through Ironville has recently been improved. To see the local bus service through Ironville please click HERE


Issue 2 - Bridge over the canal to Jacksdale

We would like the appropriate Local Authorities to restore the promised and much needed link over the canal between Codnor Park and Jacksdale for the residents of all communities.

The link will provide benefits for all in terms of accessing essential services such as Chemists, Doctor’s, Dentist’s and other important services.  There would also be easy access to the Bus routes that pass through Jacksdale to Ripley, Alfreton, Mansfield and Nottingham. In addition there is a good sized park even closer, just over the canal and a nice Garden Centre just up the road.  The bridge would be good for the environment as countless car journeys would be avoided.

Codnor Park Action Group made contact with a group in Jacksdale.  Jacksdale and Codnor Park residents are now working together to bring their two communities closer together - quite literally, by seeking to re-instate an ancient bridle path bridge (known locally as the 'old iron bridge') across the Cromford Canal.  Ten feet of water have prevented many residents from Codnor Park accessing the facilities in Jacksdale, which are just a couple of hundred yards from their door step and residents from Jacksdale are prevented from accessing the wonderful walks and open spaces of Codnor Park.  It is an absolute travesty that these two communities cannot share each others facilities when they are so close and yet so far apart, all because of the lack of a bridge, a bridge so controversially removed on 'safety' grounds without ever being replaced.  It is the duty of a Council to maintain the Right's of Way, which in this case they have not done.  The current path is inadequate, poorly maintained, dangerous and its condition completely unknown.  It is totally unsuitable, in the wrong place and the residents of these two communities deserve better.  The Codnor Park Ironworks have gone and the open casting is finished. Now give us back our Right of Way and rebuild Lawn Bridge.

For a full history of the bridge click here.

The Petitions were presented to the County Council by Cllr. Paul Smith to the Cabinet Member Highways & Transport at the meeting on 7th August 2012. The County Strategic Director – Environmental Services has now  investigated the issues that we have raised. He produced a report for the meeting on 16th October 2012, (see below). A copy of the report can be found on this link:

Groundwork Derby were initially steering the working party looking into the reinstatement of the bridge,  this is now Groundwork Cresswell, Ashfield and Mansfield.  Gary Wain (Environmental Sustainability Coordinator) was initially nominated by Groundwork to take over the project. He organised the first meeting to take the project forward (see below). Gary has walked the route related to the bridge and is very impressed with the project. Mike Brabham of Groundwork Creswell has now taken over the management of the project from Gary and is similarly impressed with the project. Things are beginning to move forward again. The  inaugural meeting of a working party took place at Jacksdale Community Centre on Thursday 11th July 2013. It  involved a site visit to the proposed location of the bridge. The meeting was very positive, the future for the bridge now looks promising.  Relevant Local Councillors and County Council Officers were in attendance and all were very supportive of the project. Developments have taken place since the meeting on 11th July 2013. The project is moving forward. To view these developments click on the thumbnails below to find out more:


Development plan  Map sept 2013 The latest news can be found in these two documents and below.

Derbyshire County Council have now pledged £50,000 to the project (April 2014) and Ashfield District Council has said it can allocate up to £16,000. Derbyshire County Council engineers have now visited the site with a view of giving initial thoughts on feasibility of bridge provision.   When initial scoping has been completed it is planned to have public consultations later this year, for the communities on each side of the canal.  These consultations will discuss all aspects of the project and all the options that are available.  For more details please see the newspaper articles on these links and thumbnails below:

Spantastic  R & H 1 May 2014

Feasibility plans have now been produced for potential bridges relating to this project.  The plans were tabled at a meeting of the Lawn Bridge Working Party on 18th September 2014.  Good progress continues to be made.

At a meeting of Cabinet Member - Highways and Transport on 16th October 2012 the petition Jacksdale to Codnor Park request for reinstatement of the bridge over the Cromford Canal was discussed: 

Basically the County Council are currently unable to fund the project due to the current economic climate.  However, the County Council fully support local aspirations for a bridge.  They have pledged to provide the project with an expert officer to help come up with a feasible design, as well as helping in the bid for funding.

“The Council remains committed to constructing a link between the two communities and, therefore, the situation will be reviewed in the future.  Should funding from other sources become available then similarly, a review of the project will be undertaken and examine whether resources are available.”

“A scheme developed by Ashfield and Amber Valley was drawn up a number of years ago and the design and costings did not meet with Derbyshire County Council approval resulting in the scheme being shelved and the funding being lost.  Amber Valley Borough Council have now allocated groundwork hours to take the project forward and links are being formed with Nottinghamshire County Council and Ashfield to create a working group to support the community’s ambitions. This committee has appropriate officer support this time around and therefore has every chance of success.”

Martyn Taylor-Cockayne, chairman of the Jacksdale Heritage Group, said he was "disappointed" the county council's decision not to fund the project but "pleased" it would provide an officer.

He said: "Their decision to make an officer available in any future bid is the most pleasing of all and their positive commitment to the project is also to be welcomed.”

Paul Smith our local County Councillor has been very supportive in our campaign for the bridge. There is a statement from him in the report, the key sentence being:

“I believe it is important for Derbyshire County Council even if they cannot commit funds at this time they are at least involved in the development and bidding process in a supporting role and also for them to be seen to be giving a commitment which helps secure external funding by giving an undertaking to adopt and maintain the bridge in the future which can be included in the external bidding process.

Officer support can be as and when required to make sure the process is right.”

At the meeting the county council's highways chief, Councillor Simon Spencer, pledged to provide the project with an expert officer to help come up with a feasible design, as well as help to bid for funding.  

Total for signatures collected:

Bridge Petition

Codnor Park Action Group – 539

Jacksdale Group: 582 (including 125 on the e- petition)

Making a total of 1,121 signatures for the bridge.

Bus Petition (Local Bus Service for Codnor Park).


Both demonstrate real local needs.

Thank you to *Ironville Post Office and Codnor Park & Ironville Social Club for holding our petitions during the collection period.

*We are very lucky to have in Ironville our own Post Office and General Store at the centre of our community.  The store not only provides a top class postal service, but also newspapers, magazines and most general household needs.

If you have not already done so - perhaps you would consider signing our e-petition to bring back the Codnor Park & Ironville Bridge. You can visit the e-petition below:-

You can also follow news regarding this on our facebook group:- "Jacksdale & Codnor Park Bridge Petition"

Present Day Problems!!!

Click on the thumbnails below to discover just how difficult it is currently to cross the Cromford Canal from Codnor Park into Jacksdale and vice versa,
(on the link simply click the previous or next buttons to move backwards and forwards through the photographs):

Crossing1 Crossing2 Crossing 3 Crossing4 Crossing5 Crossing6 Crossing7 Crossing7 Historic Hand Shake Road to Nowhere Flood

All above photographs: © Martyn Taylor-Cockayne 2012

To View the latest Newspaper Articles, Click on the thumbnails below:

Ripley & Heanor News 17 May 2012 Portland Path Advertiser Article June 2012 Ripley & Heanor News 12 July 2012 DET1 DET2 Ripley & Heanor News 1 November 2012 Bus Campaign Codnor Park

Below is a Derbyshire County Council map showing Public Rights of way around Codnor Park Bridle Path number 3 leads to where Lawn Bridge should be.  Simply click on the thumbnail to view:

Footpath Map Codnor Park

PLEASE NOTE: This web page is NOT an official page, it is left online for information purposes only.  It may be updated as the project develops in its new phase.